May 1, 1931: President Hoover Dedicates the Empire State Building
On this day in 1931, President Hoover dedicated the Empire State Building by “turning on the lights” from Washington, D.C. In reality, the action was purely symbolic and someone in New York City actually turned on the lights.
Throughout its construction, the Empire State Building was in a constant race with the Chrysler Building to become the tallest building. At completion, the Empire State Building won the title of the tallest skyscraper with 102 floors and a height of 1,250 feet.
In 1972, the World Trade Center towers stole the title as the tallest skyscrapers. Today, the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai holds that title.
Bottom Image: 1932 View from the Empire State Building, New York City (Library of Congress).